Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Church Fathers: Ignatius of Antioch

Ignatius was born in Syria around AD 50, and died in Rome sometime between AD 98 and AD 117. He was a devoted disciple of the Apostle Paul and nowhere is this more evident than in his responses in regards to the two fronts of opposition which he faced: legalism and Gnosticism.

He served as the Bishop of Antioch in the very same place in which Paul and Barnabas were sent out, the first Jerusalem council had taken place, and the great Apostle Peter had received his rebuke from none other than Paul himself.

He is most famous for writing seven letters addressing the issues of legalism and Gnosticism while on his way to Rome to be martyred. To the legalists, he charged that to keep the law as a basis for salvation was to reject the very essence of Christianity. To the Gnostics, he wrote, among other things, that their teaching of Docetism was merely an attempt to make Christianity more palatable to the masses.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hobby Lobby Must Cover Abortion Drugs

Baptist Press - Judge: Hobby Lobby must cover abortion drugs - News with a Christian Perspective

These Christian companies are being told by the courts that they must provide the costs for abortion drugs to their employees as a result of Obamacare. I find it very hard to believe that Christians went to the polls on November 6th and knowingly voted for Barack Obama. He made it very clear what he was going to do once re-elected during his campaign. He clearly stated that he was going to promote abortion on demand, homosexual marriage and euthanasia. Where these people who voted for him listening to what he said? If so, how do they justify having voted for him? Do they just compartmentalize their religion and politics? Apparently so! This is not an issue of being a Democrat or a Republican, but an issue of being a child of God who believes the Word of God…or not.

Paul warned in Romans 1:28-32 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;  (29)  being filled with all unrighteousness, without natural affection (that's homosexuality by the way), wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,  (30)  backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,  (31)  undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;  (32)  who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

Did you catch that last part? Not only does God condemn those who do these things, but He also condemns those who approve of those who do these things. A lot of Christians need to really think about that.

Baptist Press - Judge: Hobby Lobby must cover abortion drugs - News with a Christian Perspective

Why They Hate Us

Ever wonder why the world hates Christians so much? The Bible says that it is because we are proof that they are going to be destroyed.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Cycle of Nations

Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.

Catholic Bishops: "We Will Not Obey"

It is tragic that all those who went to the polls on November 6th, apparently didn't think it all the way through in regards to what exactly this president is proposing.

Catholic Bishops: We Will Not Obey Immoral HHS-Abortion Mandate | LifeNews.com

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Unbelieving

This verse pretty much describes ministry much of the time.

Acts 14:2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren.

Country Road

This pretty much describes how I feel right now.


Apathetic and Apostate

John said in Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Joel Rosenberg asked on his blog today at http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com, "How much longer will God be patient before He decides to judge us for 54 million abortions, a celebration of homosexuality, rampant heterosexual immorality, marital affairs, separations, divorce, the implosion of whole families, rampant pornography, unprecedented murder and violent crime rates, massive deficits, unfathomable debt, and a weak, increasingly apostate Church?"

I am very disappointed in the church in America. Every time I return to the U.S. to visit, I preach in half empty churches that usually meet for an hour and a half on Sunday mornings to just check off the "God Box" for the week. They are apathetic and spiritually dead.

Change is going to have to start in the pulpits. Preachers are going to have to start preaching, not just teaching, the Word of God. There simply must be a balance. Christians need to be challenged to a commitment each and every Sunday. After, the elections the other day, it is painfully obvious that the church in America does not need a hug! Nor do they need an exegesis on the seven "I Am's" of Christ in the Gospel of John. They need a swift kick in the butt!

Cyprian of Carthage who was beheaded in 258 AD said in his Third Treaty on the Lapsed (those who had denied God in the face of persecution), "They who call you happy (the priests who allowed them to come back into their fellowships without repentance) cause you to err, and destroy the paths of your feet," he who soothes the sinner with flattering blandishments furnishes the stimulus to sin; nor does he repress, but nourishes wrong-doing. But he who, with braver counsels, rebukes at the same time that he instructs a brother, urges him onward to salvation."

That should give all of us something to think about!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

It’s Final: Kids Rule Over Parents

It’s final in Ireland: Kids, gov’t rule in home over parents

Isaiah 3:4-5 And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.

What idiots!

Friday, November 16, 2012

What Now?

Here are some great words from Dr. John MacArthur about the election and where we go from here.

What Now?

The Demise of a Democracy

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse (a generous bestowal of gifts) from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years." - Alexander Tytler

Labor Unions

AP News : Twinkie maker Hostess reaches the end of the line
Labor unions are out of control and are now part of the problem, period.

Twilight and Porn

Twilight is for teenage girls what porn is to teenage boys: sick, twisted, evil, dangerous, deceptive, and popular.

Persecution and Compromise

I have been reading about the persecution that occurred in the early church in Everett Ferguson's book entitled "Church History: The Rise and Growth of the Church." Apparently, they went through a period of time when it was actually popular to be a Christian, however that came to a crashing halt when Decius became emperor. His first order of the day was to have higher clergy arrested. His second was a universal order to sacrifice to the gods of the empire (burn incense, pour a libation, and taste sacrificial meat). Those who sacrificed received a certificate testifying that they had complied. After a generation of peace, the church as a whole was unprepared for the challenge. Many had grown comfortable in the acceptance of Christianity, and vast numbers lapsed from the faith by obeying the command to sacrifice."

As I read this, I could not help but to think of the church of our day. We have lived in a nation in which it has actually been popular to be a Christian. As a matter of fact, it was an expectation. However, we have seen that attitude change over the last two to three decades. Now, it has become popular to insult Christianity, spurn the teachings of the Bible, and to look down on Christians as uneducated and fanatical. Persecution is coming. Make no mistake about. The price to call ourselves Christians is about to go up as surely as taxes under this new president. Are we ready for it? I hope that years of "peace" and "acceptance" have not softened us to the point that we can no longer stand up and be counted. God forbid that we should be numbered among the lapsed.
Proverbs 31:10-12 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Five Things

Five things handed Obama the election: free health care, bailouts, amnesty, contraception, and a lethargic church.
Neither Nikita Khrushchev or the old Soviet Union are around, but the words he spoke are eerily prophetic. America has already opted for Socialism, which we prefer to call progressivism today, because we have a constituency that is largely made up of people who think it's the government's job to take care of them.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

What Not to Say to the Police Officer

Top Eleven Things Not To Say to a Police Officer Who has Pulled You Over
 
  1. Sorry, Officer, I didn't realize my radar detector wasn't plugged in.
  2. Aren't you the guy from the Village People?
  3. Hey, you must've been doin' about 125 mph to keep up with me. Good job!
  4. Are you Andy or Barney?
  5. I thought you had to be in relatively good physical condition to be a police officer.
  6. You're not gonna check the trunk are you?
  7. I pay your salary!
  8. Gee, Officer! That's terrific. The last officer only gave me a warning too!
  9. Do you know why you pulled me over? Okay, just so one of us does.
  10. I was trying to keep up with traffic. Yes, I know there are no other cars around.  That's how far ahead of me they are.
  11. When the Officer says "Gee Son...Your eyes look red, have you been drinking?' You probably shouldn't respond with, "Gee Officer your eyes looked glazed, have you been eating donuts?

The Looming Cliff

It's hard to believe that the president and anyone else in Washington could possibly believe that simply raising taxes on the wealthy is the answer to the looming cliff that lies before us. Budget cuts across the board and a serious reduction in entitlements is the only answer. Simply raising taxes is like putting a bandaid on a brain tumor.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Electoral College

When you look at this map with blue being Democratic voting and red being Republican, it's hard to believe that Obama could have possibly won. The issue at hand is that major population centers speak for each state. The bottom line is that usually those in urban areas are left leaning (e.g. Austin, Texas) and those in rural areas are right leaning. The only apparent exception to that is cities that contain a majority minority population (e.g. El Paso and the Rio Grand Valley of Texas).

I believe that the only way to avoid disinfranchising millions of Americans (whether we agree with them or not), other than eliminating the electoral college outright, is for states to move away from the "winner take all" model and do what Maine currently does in giving their votes based on percentage of voters (i.e. if the state has ten votes and the ballots are 60% for A and 40% for B; A would get 6 electoral votes and B would get the remaining 4.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Purifying Thought

In this devotional study we take a closer look at John's encouragement to us that the closer the Lord's return, the greater the need that our lives be pure.


Monday, November 5, 2012

What Love!

This devotional study takes a look at just how good God is in giving us the gift of salvation.